How to use recycled materials and products

Recycled paper as a resource

The market for recycled paper is increasing as businesses come to realise the benefits.

How to use recycled paper in your business

There are many potential applications for paper with high recycled content, including:

  • magazine publishing and printing industries - only a small fraction of the 1 million tonnes of paper used each year for magazine publishing contains recycled content
  • newsprint
  • tissue
  • corrugated flutings
  • packaging

WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) has produced a report exploring the scope to increase the proportion of recycled fibre used by magazine publishing. You can download the review on using recycled content in magazine paperĀ (PDF, 542K).

You can also find WRAP case studies on using recycled paper in the magazine industry.

Advantages of using recycled paper

Using recycled paper has several benefits both for your business and the environment because it:

  • reduces the need for raw virgin pulp
  • is equal in quality to paper from virgin forest sources
  • is readily available
  • demonstrates your business is committed to sustainable procurement
  • reduces the volume of biodegradable waste sent to landfill
  • reduces energy use and CO2 emissions
  • increases your business' environmental credentials and supports a corporate social responsibility agenda

Standards for recycling paper

If you are sourcing recycled paper to use in your business, you should look for paper that conforms to certain quality standards.

Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 105 on recovered paper provides guidance for businesses on collecting, handling and processing recovered paper intended for recycling within the UK. You can download a summary of recovered paper sourcing and quality for UK end markets (PDF, 575K).

If you are looking to source recycled paper, you should ask your paper supplier about products with high recycled content.